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The Strokes, Angles
RCA Records, March 22

03/17/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Five years it took these guys to barf out what amounts to Second Impressions of Earth? Five years? It’s hard to put into words how cynical (“Pharrell’s producing the album! OK, psyche, it’s just a collaboration with Julian Casablancas for a Chuck Taylor commercial!”) and awful this album is — if I learned anything from Angles, it’s what’s sorely, hideously missing from this band in the first place, which is an intensity (while still remaining “quirkily tongue in cheek,” which is still so annoyingly marketable) that’s been achieved before. As I got to somewhere around the third tune here, I literally started drooling for “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” by the Buzzcocks, the song that everything on this album wants to be, at heart, but can’t. Once you get past the (now drearily familiar) ennui and the not-horribly-clever curveballs (Spandau Ballet aped on “Games”; intricate Eddie van Halen hammer-ons during “Call Me Back”) you’re left with basic Strokes vibe, that long-fanged rock ’n’ roll beast tranquilized and tossed in a cage with 24-hour cable for company. But never even minding the preceding oldschool-punk anti-Strokes rant, there is absolutely, positively, madly, crazily nothing new here. After five years. Jeez, grow a pair, already, somebody. D

—Eric W. Saeger






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